Football: Road to Euro 2000 - England v Luxembourg: Man for man marking
Sunday 05 September 1999
On what will surely be his quietest afternoon all season, Martyn had two shots to save, a couple of headers to field and a lot of spare time to kill. Hope he had a good book.
Despite the boiling temperature, scarcely broke sweat as the Luxembourgers packed their penalty area and rarely ventured across the half-way line in numbers.
Had a leisurely stroll for an hour and got in some useful post- injury match practice. Was given plenty of time to do his stretching exercises before Phil Neville replaced him.
(West Ham United)
At 37, old enough to be the England right-back's dad, Pearce charged forward in the opening stages, but shooting was wayward. Had a "goal" disallowed; got booked.
With no one in the centre to combat, England's battling midfielder had a rare chance to show his attacking flair. He took it, laying on the fifth goal and making other chances.
Made the most of an easy debut. Won the penalty for Shearer's first goal, set up his third and was taken off at half-time. Second period was a poorer place without him.
Seemed ill at ease until he swapped, with McManaman, from left to his natural right flank, and immediately set up a goal, England's third, for the Real Madrid forward.
In his preferred central midfield role, Beckham spread passes short and long and showed good vision. The shorter, crisper passes caused Luxembourg more problems.
Like Parlour, looked unhappy until they changed wings. Scored a tap-in and a flicked header but missed several second-half chances to complete his hat-trick.
A penalty, a right-footer lashed as of old into the roof of the net and a six-yard box tap-in took the captain's England tally to 27 goals. Led the line well... and avoided a booking.
Worked hard against a packed defence, had a goal disallowed, was offside himself when Pearce's "goal" was disallowed. The jury is still out on his partnership with Shearer.
On at right-back for the injured Dyer at the start of the second half when the game was won. Not as nippy or inventive, but did well.
Replaced Beckham in 64th minute. Sent a header flashing wide before curling in a spectacular right-foot shot in the final minute.
Gave Adams a rest for the final 26 minutes and put in several good crosses from the left flank. Defensive ability never tested.
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